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Is the CAF as diversified as canada is?



Living here in Toronto, I see lots of faces from all over the world here now. My question is this; Is the CAF as diversified in it‘s recruiting, or is it as white and male as it ever was. Secondly, what changes have shown up as a result of non-traditional recruiting, such as different foods being available in the cafeteria, no pork, no fish, vegetarian, for example. What about the need to accomodate different religious practices, or prayer times. Or has the multi-cultural bandwagon failed to stop at the CAF‘s door? Comments, please, and yes this was partly written in jest, but I am still curious to see what impact the changing "complexion" of Canada has had in the forces. JIM BUNTING
The Canadian Armed Forces has always been an equal opportunity employer. As for the "white male" comment. There is plenty of diversity among the ranks of the military without the need for a quota. Whoever walks into a recruiting centre is more than welcome to go through the motions of the enlisting process regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation. With respect to different food on the menus and respect for other religious beliefs. Those needs are accomodated and are not something that NCO‘s and officers make fun of their troops for. In jest, the typical "white male" blows his paycheque on strippers and Labbatt 50, and has no front teeth. Get thee to a trailer park.

-the patriot-
So yes, the military is as diversified as the rest of Canada is. It has been as such, without the political tinkering of government affirmative action programs and preferential treatment to women; which has been the case in the civillian realm of things.

-the patriot-
Come on down to any parade night at a Toronto militia unit, and you‘ll see a GREAT cross-section of Canadian society (as it exists in Toronto, at least). You want to see diversity? Then come and see the array of skin colours wearing the kilt!

The "social scientists" often fail to take into account the societal pressures existing outside the CF sphere of influence (basically, the fact is there are some circles which look down upon the military, and therefore their youngsters are not encouraged to join - is this the fault of the CF? Absolutely not! Accordingly, the CF should not be misemployed as the petri dish is social evolution, in my humble, personal opinion). The CF is not the problem.

I‘m much more supportive of gradual change, according to the natural influences of Canadian society as it evolves naturally. Furthermore, I view it as damaging when the CF has things shoved down its throat unfairly.

Besides, I‘m always fond (and proud) of the expression: "There‘s only one colour of blood in this regiment, and that‘s Davidson tartan!"

Dileas Gu Brath
My goodness - as if to prove my point (regarding external, societal pressures), lo and behold - the Times published this article today:

Managers too busy to be TA officers


THE Territorial Army, already suffering from a general recruiting problem, is desperately short of young officers, according to the latest figures.
Two-week courses for officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst meant to cater for 300 a year are less than half-filled.

Part of the problem, TA sources said yesterday, was that men and women starting careers after leaving university were working such long hours in junior management they did not have time to consider joining the Territorials.

The TA has faced such disruption in recent years, after defence cuts, that the officer shortage is one of a number of problems still unresolved. There is also a shortage of 2,000 doctors and nurses.

Under the Government’s Strategic Defence Review of 1998, the TA was given a greater opportunity to serve with the Regular Army. This has led to an increase in TA members serving in Bosnia (5,300 since 1995) and Kosovo (280), but there are still not enough volunteers to take on leadership roles.

Sources at the Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Association, which oversees the TA, said: “We may have ended up with a TA which is perceived as being not worth joining.”
(and, from the Times of India ...)

They too died fighting, Britain admits
By Shyam Bhatia

LONDON: The Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist faiths are to be represented for the first time at the annual Remembrance Day ceremony led by Britain‘s Queen Elizabeth II at London‘s Cenotaph.

London‘s Sunday Times newspaper says the change in religious representation has been sanctioned by Home Secretary Jack Straw and is meant to recognize the contribution of non-Christians who fought for Britain in two World Wars.

It notes that more than three million Indians were mobilized in the two wars in which the Indian Army fatalities were 166,000. In 1914 Indian troops were mobilized so quickly that they arrived in France still dressed in tropical gear.

The ceremony takes place every November 11 in front of a monument designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and dedicated to all the war dead of the Commonwealth.Besides the changeover to a multi faith ceremony, the Queen has also agreed to an amendment in the lead up to the main prayer. Instead of a prayer just for "those who have died in the service of their country," the words "and of the Crown" will be added to honor the contribution of the troops from South Asia.

The decision to involve non-Christian religions in such an important annual event is a huge change for a country that is aggressive about its Christian heritage and usually indifferent about other religions.

During the Falklands War less than 20 years ago there was a furore over the issue of whether the family of the only ethnic Indian officer killed, Lieutenant Ram, was entitled to ask for his body to be brought back for cremation.

The Remembrance Day changes have been instigated by a former House of Commons Speaker, Lord Weatherill, who served with the Indian Army in the Second World War.

In his letter to the Home Secretary, Lord Weatherill is quoted as saying, "I am in close touch with the Indian and Pakistani community who feel very strongly that the contribution of their forebears has never been adequately understood or appreciated.(IANS)
- 30 -
The impact is politically generated, so our CF can reflect the success of our "wonderful "country. The CF does not care where the recruit comes from, as long as he/she wishes to serve.
I feel the biggest block to recruitment of "new canadians/ ethnic minorities, et al" so desperately being targetted by recruiters, is they, generally, hail from countries where military service is not regarded so highly.( it is an arm of the government, usually, deployed against the people.)
I see no difficulty on the drill hall floor, BOSSI‘s 2nd post is right!( the only skin color is Tartan!)
( I have all my teeth)(front ones ,anyway!) (gave up drinking 50 decades ago)( moved out of the trailer park, awhile ago, new place is closer to the strippers!)
There is but one colour in my Regiment; Green! With the exception of Regimental parades (where it is that the tartan is the uniform of the day) the uniform most worn by all ranks and corps is the Green CF combat dress. Headress not withstanding, it is impossible at a distance to tell the soldier, seaman and airman apart let alone his/her race, creed or colour, sexual orientation, religion or anything else for that matter.

A soldier in the CF is nothing more or less than the best that money can buy. You would be hard pressed to find a more diverse organization anywhere on this planet that represents the cultural diversity in the manner of the CF.

I do not happen to agree with some of this but I am a Canadian soldier and it is my duty to see that the policies of my superiors are met and at the same time conduct the business of soldiering to the best of my abilities. That‘s what sets us apart from the rest of the world.

All the best

Dileas Gu Brath
Good grief, some of this is so PC as to be unreal. Any way, here is my supplemental question. If Canada were placed in the same position as she was in 1939,(the need to raise a large army, with the time to train it before going into action) what would that force look like? I think it would be overwhelmingly Anglo and caucasion, with few of the "New Canadians" being represented at all. I base this opinion on my observation that the one thing that most New Canadians keep when they come to Canada is the passport from their previous homeland, so that when things take a turn for the worse here, they can bail out, and go "home". The last thing they would do is volunteer to risk their lives for their "new" country.

On the other hand, those of us who were born here don‘t have that option, do we? I wish someone would stand up and point out to the newcomers that in all the unit photos from WW2 I have yet to see any Canadian soldiers, airmen, or sailors who were wearing turbans, or carrying kirpans. The assumption now seems to be that Canada was allways a "multicultural" society, but we know that just is not so. Read the names from the cemetaries in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, and Hong Kong where Canadians are buried, and you will see that they were mostly Anglo, some French, some Ukrainian, some Poles, some Native, but no Chinese, no Hindus, no Sikhs, no Sre Lankins, no Jamaicans. But of course, to the newcomers, that doesn‘t matter, because that was then and this is now. But, if the excrement hits the air-movement device again, and this country calls on her youth for service, I expect to hear a very large sucking sound from the exit doors at Pearson International.
Well, I can not speak for anybody except myself, but on behalf of my Italian grandfather and the score of ethnic backgrounds I‘ve served alongside (a quick survey of my Regiment recently counted 18 religions, and we ALL go to church parade together).

I pointedly suggest your post does a great disservice to all second generation Canadians (it‘s commonly accepted that it takes an entire generation before assimilation really begins).

As to your remarks about Canadian headstones and historical photographs, I would counter by stating simply that they do indeed reflect Canada‘s cultural mosiac (and dress regulations) AT THAT POINT IN TIME. Furthermore, there‘s no need to slag off any particular minority group - many fought and died in the Second World War wearing the uniform of their homeland, on the same side as Canada (and, I‘ve met many commissionaires who served in Commonwealth forces, and have more experience with "pop-up, shoot-back, live targets" than the vast majority of the CF).

By the way - I was in recruiting at the time of the Gulf War, and you‘d be interested to know a number of RMC applicants withdrew their applications when the shooting war began - and, a navy steward was quoted in the newspapers as saying he/she "... didn‘t join the navy to go to war ..." (hmmm ... so, why did they join?)

When the shooting was over, some of the erstwhile RMC applicants had the unmitigated nerve to resubmit their applications - I sincerely hope they were rejected - we don‘t need "their kind" in our army (and I especially don‘t want any of that type covering my derriere if I were ever to be under effective enemy fire ...).

Oh, did I mention - the people who withdrew their RMC applications when the Gulf War started? Canadians, born and raised here (hmmm ... I guess that yellow streak crosses cultural boundaries, eh?)

As to who might sign up if hostilities threatened again, may I suggest history would repeat itself to a large degree. Some would join out of patriotism, some (foolishly) for adventure, others simply because they perceived it as "the right thing to do", and some would join simply to get three squares a day and a paycheque. Depending on the circumstances, some "new" Canadians might join if Canada were defending their ancestral homeland (hmmm ... deja vu, eh?)

Finally, please don‘t ever personally accuse me of being politically correct - I don‘t deserve that insult (my last promotion was in 1984, largely because I speak my mind instead of biding my tongue).

Dileas Gu Brath
Bossi- Gotta back you up on the last one. Saw one or two gulf war"re-evaluations of motivation", when stationed in Europe. (not "new canadians")
jimiscanadian- seems to me, you need to go see a RegF/ Res F unit parading/training/playing. You might change your tone.
Oh yeah, those who know would not refer to me as PC!
In some of the earlier posts there were references stating in effect that the CF has not been touched by the hand og PC. I‘m afraid I have to disagree. First of all it used to be called Canadian Armed Forces, now it‘s the CF. Recruiting posters, pamphlets and videos are all now required to have female representation. Some units are required to be audited by the Language Police in terms of their treatment of French recruits. Infantryman was changed to Infanteer. The list goes on.

To say we are as diverse as the rest of Canadian culture is untrue...but so what? In some parts of Canada the majority of the population doesn‘t speak English or French. Is that what we want?
With regard to political correctness and its‘ effect upon the Canadian Army ...

First of all, I always hark back to something I was taught in a philosophy course at U of T, namely "laws are merely codification of society‘s morals". In other words, laws are supposed to represent the reasonable consensus of societal opinion.

Personally, however, I do NOT believe political correctness is truly representative of reasonable consensus, and in some instances I would further submit that political correctness can be COMPLETELY DEVOID of common sense.

Thus, I bristle when I perceive political correctness being forced upon us, as opposed to doing what is morally, ethically, or intellectually "the right thing" (i.e. if the kinder, gentler name of "Canadian Forces" is deemed as politically correct, then it behooves us to refer to the Canadian military whenever possible, or better still, the Navy, Army and Air Force - surely this terminology is accurate, truthful, and traditional, as well as being clearly understood by the general public).

I can‘t go much further in discussing my personal, avowed dislike of political correctness, since my ability to influence the outcome of this lamentable trend is miniscule - thus, I‘m not going to waste my energy banging my head against a brick wall, since I‘ve no desire to generate more angst, nor do I wish to unwittingly insult anybody. Besides, sometimes the indirect approach pays more dividends.

Dileas Gu Brath
A couple of points - one it became the CF because of the amagemation of the military and civil heirarchies in the Dept of National Defence. And civvies aren‘t armed therefore the change. Next as to "New Canadians" bugging out in case of war. That is a big load of crap as I ever heard. Most would stay out of obligation to a country that has probably given them more oppurtunity then their former homeland. Unlike those born here they chose Canada and for that reason alone I know they would serve. (I immigtated here, and that is how I feel and I know I am not alone.) As for the anglo names at the war cemataries, go to Italy where you will find Hindu. Muslem names etc. (They may not have served for Canada )Don‘t forget that in 1939 Canada‘s immigration was more restrictive than it is now tilting in favor of WASPs and therefore less visable minorities were here to join. You don‘e see that many women‘s names, does that that mean they are less willing to fight also? As to PC if that means you can‘t pyhsiaclly or verbly abuse anyone than I guess thats me. I always thought it took away our professionalsim when witnessing someone sceaming at a subordinate just beacuse he had the power to do it.
As for Chinese-Canadian participation in the Second World War, I recommend the book THE DRAGON AND THE MAPLE LEAF which discusses that point in detail.

As to what colour any future Active Service force would be - who really gives a shit? No one here is "politically correct" as I have been reading their un-PC posts for ages now! I think that term should finally be going the way of the dodo anyway. What you have on this forum are morally conscious Canadian soldiers who have taken the responsiblity of watching for the welfare of others. Period.

If you want to play race-games, Jimbo, I suggest you move back to Chicago. As has been eloquently stated here, all I see in uniform is green (or tartan, as the occasion dictates). I am reasonably sure I may speak for the majoority of my peers on that point.

And there were plenty of "visible minorities" in uniform in World War Two. Try looking through something other than the Reader‘s Digest Condensed version of our war effort.

Kind regards,
Interesting comment about moving back to Chicago, seeing as I was born in West Toronto, near Runnymeade and Bloor, attended Humberside Collegiate, and now live in Mississauga. I have visited the windy city, and I didn‘t like it. My comments were my own point of view, bolstered by a life time of observation here in Toronto. There must be some mystical force that hangs around Moss Park, and makes all that enter there somehow better human beings, right MR Bossi?

Last promotion in 1984? Boy you must have really got on the wrong side of somebody....x
My last promotion was in 1989, if that is also of interest to you.

You may try to confuse the issue all you want with personal attacks, I don‘t think you‘re going to trick anyone into saying something racist (if that was your intent). Like andybody said - who cares if we don‘t have an equal representation of every ethnic type, down to the 3/1000th percentile? We don‘t have enough of anybody, white, black, or otherwise! If you do live in Toronto, you would think you would have learned how to look past a person‘s colour. How truly, truly sad for you.

If you find it hard to believe that the Canadian Army (not CF, please) actually helps people learn to be better human beings, I suggest you stop hanging out on Yonge Street "observing" and go down to recruiting - start "doing" instead of "looking".

We‘ve had a number of "coloured" soldiers in my regiment here in Calgary and I have yet to hear a single racial epithet hurled (and this is the heart of so-called redneck country). It ain‘t all peaches and cream - we have our share of morons in all rank categories, and the boys set to once in awhile, but race is not an issue. Incompetence, thoughtlessness, lack of character and invisible personalities are all problems - but race isn‘t an issue!

Why make it one?
Attention: M Dorosh. If your unit is such a model of co-operation between the different races that are a part of it, perhaps you can advise me where you find such people in the year 2000. Race is an issue in everyday life in Canada, outside of the Canadian Army, just listen to all the whineing from the visable minorities if they don‘t get preferential treatment in job placements. I don‘t see how the same attitude that is so pervasive in "civie street" is absent from the military, or do you have special pool of manpower that is unaffected by the multi-cult advocates. You know those nice folks who are "professionaly ethnic", and make a good living being offended by everything that Canada does, or stands for?

As for Yonge street, and hanging around there. I‘ll admit that I spent many hours on and around Yonge street, but it was as a part of my duties, and the Corporation of Metropolitan Toronto got good value for the money they paid me, and my partner. Thank goodness that I am now self-employed, and don‘t have to put up with the endless, mindless nonsense that you are faced with as apart of the biggest employer in the country, the federal government.x
Jimi; It‘s not difficult to see (even for the most obtuse of us) why you are no longer in the employ of the Corporation of Metropolitan Toronto. If YOU want to make an issue of colour, creed race, religion, sexual orientation, hair colour, length, bredth, straightness, curliness or any other such nonsense YOU can and will (and evidentally have). There are some of us that can‘t and won‘t because we see things in a different light than you do.

It‘s the light of reason and common sense.

I will not speak about what it takes to stuff a human beings‘ intestines back into what‘s left of his abdomen after being hit by a mortar (it isn‘t very pretty and the image still makes me sweat) but I can assure you that after seeing it you will have a full and complete knowledge of all that makes up the "human" in us has nothing to do with what‘s on the outside or what‘s inside our craniums...cause we all bleed with the same unerring volume as anyone else that has the misfortune to be punctured. It doesn‘t matter that the guy beside you is white, hispanic, black, abo, kiwi or ausy...as long as he‘s as scared as you and shoots better than you when the s**t hits the fan, he is undoubtedly your new best friend.

I‘m sorry that you can not attain a level of acceptance that I have with your fellow men and women of this planet. It does not bode well for our futures.

Dileas Gu Brath